Can you use a normal toilet roll in a caravan?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Can you use a normal toilet roll in a caravan? We will discuss what are the differences between various types of toilet rolls and what is the best type of toilet paper to use in a caravan. 

Can you use a normal toilet roll in a caravan?

You can use a normal toilet roll in a caravan, as long as the regular household toilet paper quickly dissolves into fine particles. If, on the contrary, the normal toilet roll becomes a kind of a paste in contact with liquids, do not use it in your caravan or RV.

Here are the top five recommended caravan toilet paper brands:

  • Camco RV TST 2-ply Toilet Tissue
  • Freedom Living Septic Tank Safe Toilet Tissue
  • Scott Rapid Dissolve Bath Tissue
  • Thetford Aqua-Soft Toilet Tissue
  • Valterra Q23630 Softness 2-Ply Toilet Tissue.

The toilet of a caravan, the toilet of a motorhome, or whatever you want to call it, does not work the same as the one at home. It is similar, yes, but in the WC of these “house vehicles,” the waste does not go down the drain but remains in a receptacle called a sewage tank, which has a hermetic lock that, in most of them, has a manual system.

What is different about the toilet of a caravan?

The toilet of caravans and RVs has the same shape as a normal toilet in a house, but it is smaller and is usually made of plastic or some type of fibre, instead of being ceramic. Under it is ‘hidden’ that removable receptacle that is the sewage tank. To use it, you simply have to use the thread or lever that opens the gate and relieve yourself.

After having used it, it must be closed so that no bad smell comes out and, obviously, so that nothing that is inside comes out. In all this, before doing your business, a specific chemical product for caravan toilets should have been added that will take care of undoing waste and also eliminating bad odours.

You can use toilet paper, without any problem, but what is not recommended is to use wet wipes. It is recommended to proceed with the emptying of the tank every three or four days approximately, and the emptying should be done in special areas that we have available both in campsites and in most rest areas on the road.

These types of liquids cannot be released freely on the road, in the street or in the sewers, but as we mentioned previously, the sewage must be released in places specially enabled for it. And it is recommended to be careful when emptying for obvious reasons. But if you’re really new to this, just take your precautions because it might splash you and it’s not too pleasant.

The different types of toilet paper and what to use in a caravan

Contrary to what you might think, not all toilet paper is created equal.

Yes, there are different thicknesses and some nicer than others. However, keep in mind that not all toilet paper will have the same impact on the proper functioning of your caravan’s septic system. So there are other important factors to consider.

This is because they will not all break down at the same rate and some toilet paper (usually the thicker ones) can cause serious problems.

Moreover, you should not necessarily trust the statement “Safe for septic tanks”. You should test the toilet paper you use yourself to see if it dissolves easily in water.

Ideally, the toilet paper should come off a bit by the time you flush the toilet. If so, the bacteria will have a much easier time breaking it down once in the septic tank.

Here are some types of toilet paper that “normally” should be safe for the septic system and should be favoured:

  • Biodegradable toilet paper

Obviously, we are looking for toilet paper that easily degrades in the septic tank. “Biodegradable” toilet paper will break down faster. This is mainly because it comes apart easily once in the water. The enzymes will attack the cellulose and the bacteria will love it!

  • Recycled toilet paper

The name can be scary at first reading. But, no: it’s not toilet paper that someone has used. Recycled toilet paper normally requires fewer chemicals in its design than regular toilet paper. The fibres in recycled paper are smaller and break down more easily in water. This is also a good toilet paper option for your septic tank.

  • Toilet paper that is “safe for septic tanks”

As I mentioned above, the phrase “Safe for Septic Tanks” should not be trusted. But, it’s normally better than nothing! However, you should perform the following test to find out if it is indeed safe for the septic tank.

Try this test to find out if the toilet roll is right for the septic tank

Now is the time to bring out the scientist in you. Here are the steps of the experiment:

  1. Choose one or more brands of toilet paper to test.
  2. Place one sheet of each brand in empty 2-litre bottles.
  3. Fill the bottles halfway with water.
  4. Vigorously shake the bottles to simulate the movement of the water when you flush the toilet.
  5. If the toilet paper is still intact after shaking the bottle for 30 seconds, it means the paper will have a hard time breaking down in your septic tank.

We also recommend opting for toilet paper with a maximum of 2 plies. By making this choice, we hope that the toilet paper:

  • will come apart easily when flushing the toilet;
  • will be delicate enough for you;
  • will easily decompose in the pit.

Use organic additives to more easily break down toilet paper in the septic tank The human digestive system is not designed to break down cellulose. However, some bacteria can. They produce an enzyme (cellulase) that allows them to break down toilet paper. A simple and safe way to ensure toilet paper is properly decomposed in the septic tank is to use a biological additive.

Conclusion: the best toilet paper for your caravan

If you use heavy toilet paper, the septic tank of your caravan may fill up faster than it should. Usually, you will notice a lump of toilet paper with the scum stuck in the grease.

Come to think of it, it is still the solid material that is returned the most towards the septic tank. We must therefore make sure that it does not harm the system.

Additionally, too thick toilet paper can cause plumbing blockage issues. Choose toilet paper that is thin and will break down easily in your septic tank.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know.

FAQ on Can you use a normal toilet roll in a caravan?

What toilet paper for a caravan toilet?

For chemical caravan toilets, it is best to use rapidly biodegradable toilet paper. Thetford Aqua Soft has been specially developed for this type of toilet, so it dissolves faster. We recommend that you use special toilet paper as there is a very high risk that normal toilet paper will clog the toilet. In addition, it makes emptying the toilet easier.

How to clean chemical toilets?

To clean the waste tank of your toilet, it is best to use the cassette tank cleaner and to clean the exterior of the toilet, we recommend that you use the bathroom cleaner. These products are specially designed for this type of toilet. If you use normal household products, the risk is far too high that rubbers and plastics will be affected.

How to maintain chemical toilets?

If you maintain your toilet properly, it will last longer. This is why it is important that you use the right cleaning products. The maintenance of rubbers is also very important. For this, it is better to use silicone spray. With this, you lubricate, maintain and protect the closures.

References

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